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Definition of "pathos" []

  • A quality, as of an experience or a work of art, that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, tenderness, or sorrow. (noun)
  • The feeling, as of sympathy or pity, so aroused. (noun)
  • The quality or power, esp in literature or speech, of arousing feelings of pity, sorrow, etc (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • A feeling of sympathy or pity (noun)

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Use "pathos" in a sentence
  • "It is the one great weakness of Dickens as a great writer, that he did try to make that sudden sadness, that abrupt pity, which we call pathos, a thing quite obvious, infectious, public, as if it were journalism or the measles."
  • "But in place of Hardy's pathos is a perverse little smile that's blessedly contagious."
  • "My central contention with regard to these writers 'pessimistic conceptions of freedom and their overall anti-modern pathos is that we ought to read them less as a separate current opposing the dominant narrative of nineteenth-century liberalism and its identification with rights, institutions, and the competitive individualism they foster than as a"